Astrophysics, Geology, News, Space

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain

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It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the Curiosity rover, but that doesn’t mean that it stopped studying the Red Planet. Now, NASA’s rover has reached one of its main destinations: Mars’ Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from…

Astrophysics, News, Space

The most exotic material on the planet: researchers find dust from beyond the solar system

An optical microscope image of a track through aerogel made by Orion, one of the dust particles believed to be from interstellar space. Photograph: D Frank/Nasa/JSC

Researchers believe they have found seven dust specs from outside the solar system. This is the first time we have the chance to directly analyze interstellar matter. The material was probably ejected from a supernova….

Astrophysics, Geology, News

Still hot inside the Moon? Earth gravity creating a hot layer

Credit: Image courtesy of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Scientists have indirectly demonstrated the existence of a hot layer surrounding the Moon’s core, through seismic and deformation studies. This layer is created by the gravity exerted by the Earth on the Moon and can provide valuable information regarding the evolution of the Earth-Moon system….

Astrophysics, News, Physics, Space flight

NASA confirms “Impossible” propellant-free microwave thruster works

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Designs for a device called a “microwave thruster” were proposed in 2006. While the device was physically sound and followed the principles of relativity, it has been dismissed by researchers who claimed that such a functioning device would defy the law of conservation of momentum. A team from NASA set out to trial the device and see if it works; lo and…

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News, Space

ESA’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, ready to begin its science mission

Artistic representation of the ESA.

Gaia is an unmanned space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA) which aims to catalog approximately 1 billion astronomical objects (mostly stars), about 1% of the Milky Way population. Gaia will provide a trove of valuable and spectacular data, including a precise three-dimensional map of astronomical objects throughout the Milky Way and map their motions. We were telling you…

Astrophysics, News

Mercury iron might be the result of cosmic collision

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The Earth contains a lot of iron, but it is not alone in the solar system in that aspect. Venus, Mars, the Moon and asteroids such as Vesta all have iron in their structure, but Mercury is the champion in that aspect: about 70 percent of its mass is iron! Now, researchers believe they have found why Mercury is so…

Astrophysics, News

Newfound Planet ‘Gliese 832c’ May Be Able To Support Life

The habitable zone

A newfound alien planet located “just” 16 light years away from Earth might be able to support life, a new study has shown. To get some perspective, the Milky Way is approximately 100,000 light-years across. The closest planet to our solar system is Proxima Centauri – 4.2 light-years away. A recent study concluded that there are likely billions of Earth-like planets…

Astronomy, Astrophysics

When Galaxies Collide: Triple Black Hole System Discovered

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Two decades ago, astronomers started to find evidence that almost all galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their center. However, the discovery of a trio of black holes circling the center of a distant galaxy, reported by astronomers on Wednesday indicates that duos and trios of black holes are much more common than previously thought. “We were quite surprised to…

Astrophysics, Observations

Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth

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Intense light from a huge explosion (a gamma ray burst) that took place shortly after the birth of the Universe (12 billion years ago) has reached Earth, and was observed by researchers. Gamma Ray bursts are the strongest explosions since the Big Bang – in just 10 seconds, they release more energy than our sun in its entire life time; read…

Astrophysics, News

The first Thorne-Zytkow object, a bizarre type of hybrid star, discovered by astronomers

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Physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Zytkow proposed a new theoretical class of stars back in 1975, but it was only very recently that such an example of hybrid star was identified in the universe. The Thorne-Zytkow Objects (TZOs) are a combination between red supergiant and neutron stars, superficially looking like normal red supergiants, like Betelgeuse in the Orion constellation….